By:  Joe Scudder

Obama did not hesitate to lie to the American people, promising that no one would be forced to lose their doctor or policy. I don’t approve of that lie, but at least Obama was willing to take action even though some would be unhappy with him.

There’s no way to unwind this horrible, imploding law without making people unhappy.

Donald Trump may have realized that.

Despite what may be his own confusion over “repeal and replace,” Donald Trump may have irrevocably repealed Obamacare in its most important aspect. It looks like the mandate is no longer mandatory!

Reason magazine’s blog explains:

The health law’s individual mandate requires everyone to either maintain qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty, known as a “shared responsibility payment.” The IRS was set to require filers to indicate whether they had maintained coverage in 2016 or paid the penalty by filling out line 61 on their form 1040s. Alternatively, they could claim exemption from the mandate by filing a form 8965.

For most filers, filling out line 61 would be mandatory. The IRS would not accept 1040s unless the coverage box was checked, or the shared responsibility payment noted, or the exemption form included. Otherwise they would be labeled “silent returns” and rejected.

Instead, however, filling out that line will be optional.

Earlier this month, the IRS quietly altered its rules to allow the submission of 1040s with nothing on line 61.

When Democrats say the law needs to be fixed, they want penalties for not obeying the mandate to be increased. Donald Trump, by ordering agencies to provide relief from Obamacare, has done the opposite.

This means that the individual exchanges are going to die even faster. Other insurance companies will pull out of the marketplace just like Humana did.

We’re not out of the woods yet. The IRS reserves the right to change policy.

The IRS says it still maintains the option to follow up with those who elect not to indicate their coverage status, although it’s not clear what circumstances might trigger a follow up.

But I highly doubt Trump is going to want stories to get out about the IRS investigating people for not buying insurance. This is “game over” for Obamacare.

Read More: